Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 4
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Lust, Actually: A 20 year late review

Truth be told, I watch a lot of romance. With that said, it’s surprising I hadn’t seen the 2003 holiday hit, Love, Actually, until last week. 

I wasn’t expecting much, but was open to liking it.

I didn’t.

At the end of that 136 minute collage of tabloid scraps, was anyone in love? Save the two pornstars (they were the best part), who in this movie was actually in love and not just horny? Who’s to say if Alan Rickman’s character loves anyone considering his dick seems to be making more of his decisions. Kiera Knightly is in love with her husband, yet her entire plotline surrounds the infatuation of the best friend with the video camera. Is infatuation love? No, infatuation is infatuation. The Colin Firth plot? I’m hesitant to call the reverse Mr. Darcy scene to be an instigator of love rather than the realization of lust. The only people in love in that movie were the pornstars and Bill Nighy and his best friend.  

 There’s a host of things I haven’t mentioned (i.e., fat shaming, sexual harassment in the workplace, etc.) and do not have the space to fully flesh out in a single article (other people already have as well). But one thing about this movie is that it gives people zero time to fall in love, it seems to adopt the style of a Greek play: all the action happens offstage. Love, Actually, is Actually, Boring. Not because its genre is some kind of joke, not even because the acting is that bad. But because I have no idea who is falling in love, much less do I believe they are actually in love. Moreover, this movie tried to include every single romantic trope possible, and the thing about tropes is that they’re already on thin ice and the more tropes you have, the harder it is to make them work. This movie did not care about that, which didn’t come off as charming but instead lazy. 

I don’t really understand why this movie has such a cultural hold on both the holiday and romance genres, it was, quite frankly, rather forgettable for me. But then again I am reinforcing that we remember this movie by writing an article about it. 

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